Timeline On Contraception Guarantee
Affordable Care Act (ACA) adopted. Women’s Health Amendment guarantees women access to necessary preventive health care without cost-sharing.
Contraception is preventive health care. HRSA adopts “Women’s Preventive Services Guidelines” and includes all FDA-approved contraceptive services and counseling. As a result, women are guaranteed coverage for contraception services and counseling without cost-sharing.
Federal government regulations create the “accommodation,” which allows certain employers (not-for-profits and closely held corporations) with religious objections to contraception to exclude contraception from employee health care plans. Instead, third parties provide contraceptive coverage directly to the employer’s female employees.
U.S. Departments of Health and Human Services, Labor, and Treasury issue new “interim final” rules that create broad new exemptions allowing employers and schools to deny women contraceptive coverage based on employer’s or school’s personal beliefs. The rules are immediately effective and issued without prior notice or public comment.
- Religious rule: allows anyone—including large publicly traded corporations and universities—with a religious objection to contraception to exclude it from employees’ or students’ insurance.
- Moral rule: allows many employers—including closely-held corporations and large universities—with a moral objection to contraception to exclude it from employees’/students’ insurance.
Pennsylvania successfully challenges the 2017 rules for violating the Administrative Procedure Act (APA) and the ACA. The 2017 rules are blocked nationwide.
The agencies issue “final” versions of the same exemptions. The 2018 rules are virtually identical to 2017 rules.
Pennsylvania, now joined by New Jersey, successfully challenge the 2018 rules for violating the APA and ACA. The 2018 rules are also blocked nationwide.
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit unanimously affirms the injunction, finding that the agencies had no authority to create the 2017 or 2018 rules.